If Michael Franti were to write a new version of his “Obama Song” about the current presidential election, he says the first lyric would be: “The world is a shit show, but we can make it better.”
The musician, who spoke with Billboard at BottleRock Napa Valley, discusses both politics and his upcoming album, Soulrocker, in the video above.
“Soulrocker, to me, is a person who lives from their heart with compassion for all and who has a tenacious enthusiasm for music, life and the planet,” Franti says.
“This record is one that is inspired by these crazy times that we’re living in,” he continues. “But it’s also about staying positive.”
“Right now, there’s a great need for us to be able to envision a new future. I believe with this election that’s coming up that we need to be a nation that builds bridges and not walls, and that we need to be reaching out across party lines, reaching out across national lines to address the issues that we see in the world that are taking place, like climate change or the refugee crisis,” says Franti.
Franti hopes Soulrocker will inspire people to keep optimistic and to aim to be “difference makers.”
As for the 2016 election, he adds: “I never thought I’d see a day when reality television-style soundbytes would be the thing that would propel somebody into office.”